I’m on vacation rejuvenating, clearing space, and building energy for a productive fall and winter. I hope you do the same, if only for a day—It’s a necessity for good creative and intellectual work, and sense of wellbeing.  PLEASE join me—It’s the best investment you can make.

Allyson KapinThanks to guest blogger Allyson Kapin, founder of Rad Campaign and Women Who Tech.

Congratulations, you’ve got a new email subscriber who’s interested in your cause and impact.  Now’s the time to introduce them to your nonprofit with an email welcome series. You get just one chance to make a first impression! Dumping a subscriber into your list with no explanation or recognition can be jarring, or worse, annoying. So don’t.

Instead, do it right with a three-part email welcome series. In fact, research shows that welcome emails are four times more likely to be opened and five times more likely to get click-throughs than other emails. Here’s how to create your own email welcome magic, drawn from Care2’s new Welcome Series Toolkit:
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Guest Blogger on August 24, 2016 in Email and E-Newsletters | 0 comments
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I’m on vacation and NOT WORKING (unlike what’s become a bad pattern) . Instead, I’m rejuvenating, clearing space, and building energy for a productive fall and winter. I hope you get the chance to do the same. It’s a necessity for good creative and intellectual work, and sense of wellbeing. Join me!

Nonprofit Marketing GuidanceThanks to guest blogger Heather Ratcliff. Heather is a web content and social media strategist who blogs at How to Reach People.

Despite shifting online trends, such as growing social media platforms and the rapid growth of text messaging, email should still play a vital role in your communication strategy. Should you send newsletters or emails? How should you segment your list, and how often should you email?

We took on these challenges at a recent NetSquared DC meetup, in which Roshani Kothari and I invited three email experts: Janelle Mackereth with DC Central Kitchen, Erik Leaver with Blackbaud, and Virginie Combet with TechnoServe. (Recording here).
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Guest Blogger on August 17, 2016 in Email and E-Newsletters | 0 comments
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I was thrilled to see Van Jones’ introducing Dream CorpsDay of Empathy via this video. Wow!

This incredible experiment in using virtual reality to build empathy—the first step to engagement and action—could be groundbreaking. I am following closely, can’t wait to see how this evolves, and promise to report back along the way. Van, I hope you and your team will share out what works, what doesn’t, and how other orgs and causes can use this technique to build the empathy necessary to motivate action.

Please join me on Day of Empathy’s Facebook group to follow its development, roll out, and results. So much to learn. So much inspiration. I’m so excited!

P.S. Get more nonprofit marketing tools, templates, case studies & tips delivered right to your inbox!
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P.P.S. This Day of Empathy approach is all about making Dream Corps’ methods and goals relevant to more of us, via virtual reality. Relevance Rules! And it’s meta—Van does a fantastic job of making the experiment relevant to us in this video.

Nancy Schwartz on August 4, 2016 in Relevance Rules | 2 comments
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Nonprofit MarketingPart 1

Dig in a.s.a.p. to these tested and terrific ways to get your people out of the heat and into action—shared by peer fundraisers and communicators in the field. There’s no better source of ideas, guidance, and support!

Personalize to Connect!
Here’s where you rely on your robust, reliable donor management software. The more you know and log about your prospects and donors, the better you’ll connect with them.

Connect with Your Patrons, Donors, and other Supporters via THEIR Summer Habits and Passions
When I coach folks on communicating to donors, it’s one-on-one—an individual strategy. I don’t advise them to feature Hawaiian shirts and mai tais on their communications. But every communication needs to consider the audience, so I guess we naturally consider it. People leaving or arriving for the summer have different agendas and needs.

If the recipient is “in town” for the summer, we explore why she’s interested in the nonprofit. What causes her to support a charity while on vacation? From there, we create a strategy.                                     —Marc Pitman, Fundraising Coach

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Nancy Schwartz on August 3, 2016 in Relevance Rules | 0 comments

Nonprofit Media RelationsThanks to guest blogger Mollie Katz, Multimedia Strategist at Mollie Katz Communications.

In their day, legendary journalists like Ben Bradlee of The Washington Post essentially defined the day’s news for their audiences. But today it’s a different story—Increasingly, audience interests shape journalists’ decisions on what’s news.

NBC, for example, is sharing viewers’ thoughts on the election anonymously, collecting them via text, phone, and Tumblr. The New York Times has decided “to produce a product that consumers have a greater say in creating,” according to its public editor Liz Spayd. Other examples abound, affecting news, feature, and opinion coverage.

How the News Is Changing, and Why You Should Care
This is happening because traditional media is still adjusting to the internet’s impact. Digital media has exploded with new outlets representing diverse opinions and covering an incredible range of subjects. To compete with these newcomers, traditional media outlets must stay closely attuned to their own audiences.

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Guest Blogger on July 27, 2016 in Media Relations and Press | 0 comments
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We’re officially one month into summer, so don’t waste a moment in heating up your communications and results with season-specific approaches.

To find the most effective ways to do so, I asked colleagues in the field what (if anything) they do differently to heat up summer giving and other actions. These superstars came back with this slew of great practices:

Is Summer: Sizzling or Slow for Your Organization (and Your Role)?
The Jury’s Still Out

Some Slowdown! We Plan, Invent, and Prep for a Fast-Paced Fall

Plan & Prep
I’m going to take the time to revamp our approach to email timing and volume, and I’m very excited. We have a broad idea of where we’re going right now but it’ll take a few months to plan the exact details and roll out our new program.   –Anna Besmann, Marketing and Communications Associate, Interfaith Youth Core

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Nancy Schwartz on July 20, 2016 in Strategy | 1 comment

All-Org Marketing TeamWelcome to the Nonprofit Blog Carnival on Launching and Supporting Your All-Staff Team of Powerful Marketers—the best methods and tools to ask, train, support, and thank your colleagues to be effective insight gatherers and messengers. 

I’m thrilled to share with you this sampling from the powerful posts and recommendations submitted by you and your nonprofit peers:

Mad Men’s Don Draper would adore Marissa Garza, Director of Marketing and Communications at Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois. She goes for what she wants, and shares five tips on how she and her marketing team created an “organization-wide marketing team.

Here’s how I train orgs like yours to Extend Your Reach with an All-Staff Messenger Team

Lisa Rupple, Communications Coordinator at the Community Foundation of Lorain County, wants to brainstorm:

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Nancy Schwartz on July 14, 2016 in All-Org Marketing Team | 0 comments
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nonprofit crisis communications

Like you, my heart and head are heavy in the wake of the Orlando massacre of 49 people who were wives, husbands, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, parents, colleagues, friends, and much more to many people. Especially since I feel so helpless.

But there’s something we nonprofit communicators CAN DOrespond to crises like these with thought, respect, and relevance. Here’s how some of your fellow communicators are responding sensitively and productively to this tragedy:

First, STOP every pre-scheduled social media post and email.

Watch for pre-loaded social media messages. On Sunday morning (the morning after), my feed had many tone-deaf messages (Twitter and Facebook) that had clearly been put in the can on Friday afternoon. It’s not the worst thing, but it is something to think about when people use Hootsuite or other services to schedule social messages. Who’s assigned to pull back those messages when a tragedy strikes? READ MORE

Nancy Schwartz on June 16, 2016 in Crisis Communications | 4 comments

1-AllOrgTeam_pptxPlease share your questions and tips here, or via a blog post emailed to nonprofitcarnival@gmail.com by Friday, June 24.

I’m in love, with a marketing method that’s a game changer for communications, fundraising, and program staff members in organizations like yours—Launching an all-staff team of messengers.

Here’s why:

  • You know what you need to do but can’t get beyond the limits of time, expertise, and budget. That’s the struggle you share most often.
  • Your colleagues are spreading the word but it’s frequently the wrong word. But 42% of them can’t accurately describe what your organization does, much less convey the crucial needed to advance your communications goals. 
  • And your colleagues can have better access to the folks you want to reach. 

For this month’s carnival post, I’m eager to hear your questions and concerns, tips, and tools on popping your team of all-staff messengers:
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Nancy Schwartz on June 8, 2016 in All-Org Marketing Team | 3 comments
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distractedHow many times did you get distracted already today?

It’s no secret that we need to communicate quickly, briefly and on point to grab the attention of folks in a near constant stage of distraction. That’s been one of the most significant fundraising challenges since the advent of the Internet, compounded over time by our reliance on more content on more platforms on more devices more of the time. But the first step to connecting in our age of distraction is understanding what’s going on.

Consider your habits. How much attention do you give your 8-year-old daughter’s first-time request to host a sleepover, your BFF’s distress over her mom’s increasing dementia, or your colleague’s wrangles with her boss? For most of us, the answer is “not as much as I would like to.”

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Nancy Schwartz on May 17, 2016 in Branding and Messages | 0 comments
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